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Stansted: Flooding problems in Church Road persist as motorists face further road closures

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It never rains but it pours is the proverb that could easily be applied to Stansted’s Church Road as flooding problems persist.

Just days after Essex Highways closed off a section between Maitland Road and Lower Street to carry out drainage repairs, downpours during the jubilee weekend led to water collecting further up around the traffic calming chicanes.

It is now likely that the road will have to be closed again to allow engineers to carry out more work.

Church Road in Stansted has a persistent problem with flooding (57221815)
Church Road in Stansted has a persistent problem with flooding (57221815)

Frustrated residents and motorists this week voiced their anger over the on-going nuisance and lack of co-ordination when planning highways repairs.

Parish councillor Lois Prior took photos of the road under water on Sunday June 5 - less than two weeks after it was shut for three days on May 25 for the underground drainage repairs.

Her image shows the chicanes which regularly flood.

Newly elected Independent parish councillor Lois Prior (57226984)
Newly elected Independent parish councillor Lois Prior (57226984)

“I think most residents now consider the efforts made beyond a joke, especially as any return of workmen will mean more road closures,” she said.

“It’s well documented that the traffic calming work exacerbated the flooding issue as water cannot drain fast enough, especially when they are blocked.”

Stansted’s county councillor Ray Gooding said he was once again taking up the issue with Essex County Council and warned that further closures in Church Road were likely.

He has a site meeting planned with a highways officer this week to re-look at the road, as well as touring other problematic areas, including Birchanger Lane’s junction with the B1383 where the central island has been repeatedly damaged.

Stansted candidate Ray Gooding (57226975)
Stansted candidate Ray Gooding (57226975)

He said that initial jetting work carried out several months ago to clear blocked drains had revealed a split in the underground system between Maitland Road and Lower Street, leading to the most recent road closure.

“The underground drainage had split in the middle so water wasn’t draining away from one end to the other.

“Then we had heavy rain last week at the top end of the road where the chicanes are which led to flooding again. I am getting highways to come out and have another look at it. It needs further investigation to see what is causing it and road closures are a possibility.”

Stansted district and parish councillor Geoffrey Sell, who is vice-chair of Uttlesford District Council’s highways panel, said he would be contacting Cllr Gooding for an update ahead of the next panel meeting.

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